When heavy hitting songwriting super-stars like Joel Plaskett, Ron Sexsmith, and Gordie Sampson start to take notice of your work before you even have an album, you must be doing something right.
That’s exactly what happened with 23 year old Mo Kenney from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
After listening to this self-titled album for the first time I was shocked to learn it was the artist’s first studio disc. The level of songwriting and guitar chops would have even the most critical of listeners thinking it might be a “best of” compilation. It’s hard not to be a fan after hearing Mo’s velvety smooth voice and her delightfully quirky and unique melodic style.
That’s probably what was going through local icon Joel Plaskett’s head when he decided to work with Mo to produce her album, which was recorded in his Dartmouth home studio, Scotland Yard. He even helped co-write a couple of the cuts on this disc as well. “Joel and I are the only musicians playing on the album,” says Mo via her website. “He definitely influenced the production.” It’s amazing to see what the pair produce here; nothing like putting your best foot forward!
A good chunk of this album is like scotch on the rocks after a long day of work; relaxing and smooth. Tracks like “I Can’t Talk” and “In My Lungs” are mellow and thought-provoking, all at the same time. Kenney won a SOCAN songwriting prize in June 0f this year for “Sucker”, which is a definitely a highlight of this release.
There are a few rocking numbers here too – like “Deja Vu” and “The Great Escape” – that pay homage to the singer-songwriter’s classic rock roots. “I was totally into Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Ozzy, all the classic rock stuff. When I started guitar I was really into the electric and I remember coffee houses at high school where I’d go on stage with my electric and just rip solos.”
Plaskett isn’t the only one singing Kenney’s praises; she has been nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award in the New/Emerging Artist category and has a busy international touring schedule lined up for 2014.
A good chunk of this album is like scotch on the rocks after a long day of work; relaxing and smooth.